How Do You Smoke A Holiday Ham

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Who doesn’t love a sweet glazed, spiral cut ham? It’s easier to prepare than a turkey and makes for some amazing, savory leftovers. But what if you aren’t satisfied with just buying and heating a pre-cooked ham? You can take that same piece of meat to the next level by adding your own glaze and letting it heat low and slow on your grill.

Take Your Spiral Ham To The Next Level

By far the most popular hams in the U.S. are wet-cured hams, hams that have been cured by soaking in a brine, or that have been injected with a salt solution, and then pre-cooked. The brine usually has salt, sugar and spice and everything nice, and the cooking often includes smoking. This was a method developed for preserving large hunks of meat like hog rumps long before refrigeration was invented.

Since wet cured hams are precooked, in theory all you need to do is warm yours throughout, avoid high heat, and avoid cooking too long to keep it from drying. Standard cooking technique on the package and in all the cookbooks says to heat it at 325°F until it reaches 140°F. But that is a recipe for dry meat. If you take a little care you can really amp yours up to 11 on the grill (although the same method works fine indoors). Here’s how.

The problem with most wet-cured hams is that they are dry when you cook them according to the instructions on the package, and the smoke flavor is barely noticeable. So we’ll cook ours a lot lower and slower to keep the moisture in, add just a little fresh smoke, wrap it in foil to further moisturize, sizzle on a glaze, and make a thin sauce that will penetrate the meat and add back moisture.

You can use the glaze that is packed in with the ham, but I chuck it and use a recipe from the great pitmaster, Chris Lilly, executive chef at Big Bob Gibson’s in Decatur, AL. It is a balanced blend of sweet and savory with apricot preserves, honey, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire, soy sauce, as well as herbs and spices.

Remember to save the bone for split pea soup, and if you play it right, there will be leftovers and that means sandwiches!

– via The Huffington Post

If you want to create a unique holiday ham, then it might be time to pull out the smoker. Below is the breakdown of a reliable process to create a sweet, salty, smoky masterpiece for your next big family dinner.

Smoking The Ultimate Ham

First you’ll need to purchase your ham.

When I refer to ham I’m not talking about a “green ham” (one that’s not cured).

The ham you will purchase will have already been smoked and cured somewhat.

Other items you’ll need to smoke a ham include:

  • Smoker for indirect cooking
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Cherry or Your Favorite Fruit Wood
  • Honey Dijon Mustard – 1 bottle
  • Brown Sugar – 1 lb
  • Pineapple Juice

Rub Your Ham

Next you want to coat the outside of your ham with the Honey Dijon Mustard and then lightly dust your ham with Brown Sugar. This will create almost a “paste” on your ham.

Smoke Your Ham

Once your smoker has reached 225 degrees, I always add a few chunks of wood to your smoker’s coals.

All that’s left now is to put your ham on the smoker.

After smoking the ham for two (2) hours at 225 degrees, take it off the smoker and wrap in aluminum foil. But before you close the aluminum foil completely, you want to baste the ham with your pineapple juice. I have found it is easiest to pour the juice into a spray bottle then just hit the ham with a few squirts.

Place it back on the smoker and allow it to cook for 1 hour at 225 degrees. You are looking for an internal temp of 145 degrees, and at this point your ham should be close.

Glaze Your Ham

When your ham reaches 140 degrees internal, it’s time to glaze.

Sprinkle brown sugar over the entire outside again. Once your ham is covered in brown sugar, spray it really well with pineapple juice.

Your holiday ham will stay on the smoker for 1 hour while you allow the sugar and juice to create your glaze.

– via

Have you ever grilled or smoked a ham?

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